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Golf club Manchester United bet ended in 'Soprano-style bloodbath'

IT was supposed to be a nice evening at the golf club watching a bit of football on the TV.

Instead, with blood splattered all over the toilet walls, the wash basins, the floor and the doors, a judge said it was more like a scene from the hit TV show 'The Sopranos'.

Lucan Golf Club in Co Dublin was the scene where 40 members had gathered to watch a match between Manchester United and Burnley.

Passions ran high, with a large number of people hoping to see United lose. That's when banter between Manchester United fans and the other supporters allegedly got out of hand.

"It was like a scene from 'The Sopranos'," said Judge Joseph Matthews at Dublin's Circuit Civil Court.

The court heard that Leeds supporter Alan Holmes claimed he had been head-butted by fellow member Martin Curtis in the toilets following a dispute about a €100 bet against Manchester United.

Mr Holmes, of Rathdown Drive, Terenure, Dublin, said that in March 2003 about 40 members had settled down in the bar to watch the Reds play Burnley. He said he had taken a couple of €5 bets from his pals against United winning when Mr Curtis had waved two €50 notes and asked him several times if he wanted to cover a €100 bet against United.

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Mr Holmes said he had declined and when Mr Curtis had later approached his table he had told him to f**k off. He said that during the match Mr Curtis, of Curryhills, Prosperous, Co Kildare, had knelt beside him and said: "I'm going to f**king do you outside."

Mr Holmes had ignored the remark and shortly after half time had gone to the toilet where he had seen Mr Curtis. He did not want to stand beside him at the urinals so he used a cubicle. He said he was washing his hands when Mr Curtis headbutted him in the nose. He also received injuries to his jaw, chest and groin but could not remember getting them. He did not know if he had been knocked unconscious.

The court heard there had been no witnesses and each member had sued the other for €38,000 damages for assault. The incident had split the club.

Mr Holmes, when cross-examined by Conor Bowman, counsel for Mr Curtis, said he had told Mr Curtis to f**k off but denied shouting "you are only a f**king mouth" several times across the bar.

Mr Bowman said Mr Curtis would give evidence that Mr Holmes had made no attempt to use the facilities in the toilet but had obstructed him with his chest before grabbing him and punching him. Mr Curtis had punched Mr Holmes back in the face with his right hand, he told the court.

The judge said the case, which continues today, was, in the absence of witnesses, a matter of one man's word against the other.

Source Irish Independent

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